- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Californians have been dealing with wildfires, the pandemic, power shutdowns, excessive heat and drought, sometimes all at the same time. In every county, UC Cooperative Extension is there to assist community members.
To better serve their clientele, nearly three-quarters of UC Cooperative Extension employees say they need professional development related to disaster response, according to a new study led by Vikram Koundinya, UC Cooperative Extension evaluation specialist in the UC Davis Department of Human Ecology.
Koundinya and coauthors Cristina Chiarella, UC Davis doctoral graduate student researcher; Susan Kocher, UC Cooperative Extension advisor for the Central Sierra; and Faith Kearns, California Institute for Water Resources academic coordinator, surveyed UC ANR personnel to identify existing disaster management programs and future needs. Their research was published in the October 2020 edition of Journal of Extension.
“It's becoming so common that our folks are being put in the role of responding to disasters, while not having much training or background to do so,” Kocher said.
“And, it's really cross-disciplinary,” she added. “Right now, our nutrition folks are doing so much with assisting their communities with food access during COVID. Others, like Faith Kearns, have been working hard to address drought and help clientele weather drought impacts. There are the individual events like the LNU Lightning Complex fires [wildfires caused by lightning strikes in Lake, Napa, Sonoma, Solano and Yolo counties that burned from Aug. 17 to Oct. 2, 2020], but really, so many of us are currently doing disaster work across our disciplines and that role will only continue to expand with climate change-induced disasters. Once you frame it as ‘disaster work' you can start to see how our system needs to be much more prepared and to learn from and collaborate with each other and with disaster organizations.”
The survey showed that about one-third of the 224 respondents had been involved in preparing for, responding to, or helping communities recover from disasters. Respondents also noted a variety of needs related to disaster preparedness, response and recovery systems, procedures, materials and equipment, and educational materials.
“UC ANR personnel reported a need for professional development related to understanding how we fit into broader disaster response systems (73%) in California, what Extension resources are available for disaster response (63%), how the landscape of disaster risks in California communities is changing (62%), how communities can mitigate or manage disaster risks (62%), how to develop pre-established networks within the organization for responding to disasters (52%) and coordination with local and state entities (48%),” Koundinya said.
The authors note in the journal article, “Even though UCCE has been playing a critical role in disaster response for decades, because of the size and geographic spread of the UCCE system, disaster management approaches and materials have tended to develop piecemeal on a program-by-program and often county-by-county and disaster-by-disaster basis.”
The article, “Disasters Happen: Identifying disaster management needs of Cooperative Extension System personnel” can be viewed at https://joe.org/joe/2020october/a2.php.
“We recommend that the findings be used for designing professional development on the topics and needs identified by the respondents,” said Koundinya.
In her blog ANR Adventures, AVP Wendy Powers, wrote about the report, “The tables identifying needs are of particular interest to me and perhaps something the Learning and Development team might think about for future trainings.”
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
On Aug. 1, phase 2 of the Cooperative Extension Positions Call process ended and phase 3 began. During phase 2, the Program Teams reviewed the 40 phase 1 proposals and submitted six additional proposals. All submitted proposals are posted on the 2018 Call for Position web page: http://ucanr.edu/2018callforpositions.
- The statewide programs and institutes are now reviewing all 46 proposed positions to determine if there are any positions they feel are of higher priority.
- If so, they can propose up to two additional CE advisor positions and two additional CE specialist positions by Sept. 15 – keeping in mind that the more proposals there are at the end, the lower the probability of being approved for recruitment.
- The proposals that did not make the phase 1 final 40 can be picked up during these subsequent phases. They can be found on the proposal ideas web page. New proposals are not limited to these ideas.
After Sept. 15, Program Council will review all the feedback and make recommendations to the vice president.
“We thank the ANR network for actively engaging in this participatory process to strengthen and rebuild CE positions statewide,” said Wendy Powers, associate vice president.
The 2016 Call for CE Positions was released January 12, 2016. The position-proposal submittal phase is scheduled to close May 5 at 5 pm. In some earlier materials, the deadline was indicated to be May 2; however, we are now confirming that the deadline is May 5.The position development phase has been open for the past several months, designed to allow as much time as possible for internal consultation and discussions with ANR stakeholders in all program areas.
The program area/unit review phase is May 5 - August 1, 2016. During this time, the Programs Teams, the ANR-affiliated colleges and professional school, and the regional groups of County/Multi-county Directors and Research and Extension Center Directors will conduct reviews, by doing the following for the proposals under their purview: 1) rate (high, medium, “this can wait”); 2) prioritize their highly rated positions (up to 5); and 3) provide concise rationale.
The approved submitters are the Program Team Leaders, the Executive Associate Deans, and the one person from each of the regional groups. These submitters will be provided a reviewer orientation in early May, and the presentation will be posted on the position call webpage afterwards. The public comment period remains open until July 11, 2016.
Submitted CE position proposals can be viewed on thecall web page http://ucanr.edu/2016callforpositions. Click the proposal title link to see the description. In addition, the full call, including the updated position proposal template as well as the process flowchart timeline and criteria documents are posted as well.
Filling critical academic positions remains a top priority for ANR. Over the past several years, more than 90 CE advisors and CE specialists have been hired, and there are 45 more recruitments approved. New 2016 position proposals should identify additional crucial positions.
Associate Vice President
Continuing our commitment to deploying Cooperative Extension (CE) specialists and advisors to address critical issues, ANR is soliciting proposals for these CE positions. The new 2016 call aims to identify positions for strengthening and rebuilding the ANR network to address programmatic gaps and emerging needs. The call, including the updated position proposal template as well as the process flowchart timeline and criteria documents, is posted at http://ucanr.edu/2016callforpositions.
The online position-proposal submittal process will be open from Jan. 12 to May 5 at 5 p.m. to allow as much time as possible for internal consultation and discussions with ANR stakeholders in all program areas. We expect and strongly encourage engaging external stakeholders – including commodity groups, cooperating programs, agency partners, community groups, and others – to explicitly discuss priority needs for positions.
Filling critical academic positions is a top priority for ANR. Since the beginning of 2012, ANR has hired 86 advisors and specialists, and has 45 approved positions under recruitment or to be recruited in 2016. This list is posted on the 2016 call website. New 2016 position proposals should identify additional crucial positions.
The resources released through retirements and separations continue to enable us to hire new advisors and specialists. As with the current recruitments, we will remain nimble with future hiring in phases over time to enable us to accomplish the search and hiring process in an orderly fashion, evaluate resources on a real-time basis, deal with unexpected changes in staffing, and address unforeseen critical gaps as they emerge.
The Graduate Students in Extension invite all UC Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists to an Extension Showcase on Nov. 19 at UC Berkeley. The aim is to connect graduate students who are interested in working for UCCE with UCCE academics who are interested in mentoring them. The event will be held in 103 Mulford Hall from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Bill Frost, associate vice president, will kick off the event. UCCE academics are invited to give a lightning talk on their work or prospective research and to meet with interested students.
Advisors and specialists from all disciplines are welcome to participate regardless of whether they have an appropriate 3- to 12-month project in mind or are simply interested in getting involved. Talks will be followed by topic-specific breakout sessions and a happy hour at 5 p.m.
The Graduate Students in Extension pilot program at UC Berkeley facilitates Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists to mentor current graduate students to conduct applied research and develop extension products. The three-year program, now in its final year, is intended to train graduate students for careers in extension research and outreach. This is also a great way for advisors and specialists to receive research assistance at a quarter of the price of a normal Graduate Student Researcher!
Students work with UCCE personnel on projects and products for a summer, one or two semesters or a full calendar year. To support the student, ANR provides 50%, UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources provides 25%, and CE advisor/specialist or other mentors are responsible for the remaining 25% (For details on the funding structure please refer to this year's Request for Applications on the GSE website). However, if a UCCE advisor does not have funds to cover 25%, there is an opportunity this year for advisors to apply for funds that will cover this portion.
The GSE program is available to graduate students in all departments within the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley, which includes students in Environmental Science Policy & Management (ESPM), the Energy & Resources Group (ERG), Nutritional Science & Toxicology (NST), Agricultural Resources & Economics (ARE) and Plant Microbiology (PMB).
To RSVP for the Extension Showcase, please email Matthew Shapero at firstname.lastname@example.org by Nov. 6. If you are unable to attend the Nov. 19 showcase but would like to connect with students, please send a paragraph to email@example.com describing your work and potential research so it can be included in the literature for the event.
Travel support may be available for CE advisors and specialists to travel to Berkeley for the event. In your RSVP, please note if you need travel support.
As the pilot program comes to a close, the GSE steering committee will conduct a formative assessment to propose continuation and model changes of the program to Frost. For more information about the Graduate Students in Extension pilot program, visit http://ucanr.edu/sites/GGCE or contact Vanessa Murua at Vanessa.firstname.lastname@example.org.